SMRT City Direct Bus Service 656

SMRT City Direct Service 656 is a Weekday Peak Hour City Direct service between Sembawang and the CBD, passing through Sembawang Drive, Bras Basah and Shenton Way. It is the sixth City Direct route introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP).

58121 Blk 424A CP Canberra Rd
58401 Opp Blk 491 Admiralty Link
58411 Blk 404A CP Admiralty Link
58341 Blk 405 Sembawang Dr
58311 Blk 354 CP Sembawang Dr
58251 Sun Plaza/Sembawang Stn NS11 Sembawang Dr
58291 Blk 317 Sembawang Dr
58391 Blk 303 Sembawang Ave
08057 Dhoby Ghaut Stn NS24NE6CC1 Orchard Rd
08069 Bencoolen Stn Exit B DT21 Bras Basah Rd
04179 Aft Bras Basah Stn Exit A CC2 Bras Basah Rd
02049 Raffles Hotel Bras Basah Rd
02119 Opp War Memorial Pk CC3 Nicoll Highway
03019 OUE Bayfront EW14NS26 Collyer Quay
03059 One Raffles Quay Raffles Quay
03129 UIC Bldg Shenton Way
03218 Opp MAS Bldg EW15 Shenton Way
03241 Mapletree Anson Anson Rd
03111 Aft Capital Twr Robinson Rd
03071 OPP SO SOFITEL S'PORE Robinson Rd
03031 Raffles Pl Stn Exit F EW14NS26 Robinson Rd
03011 Fullerton Sq EW14NS26 Fullerton Rd
02111 Esplanade Bridge Esplanade Dr
04111 Capitol Bldg EW13NS25 Stamford Rd
04121 SMU CC2 Stamford Rd
08041 YMCA Orchard Rd
08031 Dhoby Ghaut Stn Exit B NS24NE6CC1 Penang Rd
58399 Opp Blk 303 Sembawang Ave
58299 Blk 328 Sembawang Dr
58259 Opp Sun Plaza Sembawang Dr
58319 Blk 357C Sembawang Dr
58349 Blk 478 Sembawang Dr
58419 Blk 482A CP Admiralty Link
58409 Blk 491 Admiralty Link
58129 Blk 508 CP Canberra Rd
Route Overview
Route WAB_logo_20px [AM]: Canberra Road (Blk 424A CP) → Shenton Way (Opp MAS Bldg)
[PM]: Anson Road (Mapletree Anson) → Canberra Road (Blk 508 CP)
Passes Through Admiralty Link, Sembawang Dr, Dhoby Ghaut
Route Length Towards Shenton Way: 28.3 km Towards Canberra Rd: 28.6 km
Traveling Time 64 – 79 mins
Operator Information
BCM Route Package TBC
Current Operator SMRT Buses Ltd
Current Depot Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot (AMDEP)
Current Fleet 12-metre Single Deck Bus
12-metre Double Deck Buses
Operating Hours
Departure Times from Canberra Rd
Weekdays, except Public Holidays
07:20 – 07:40
Departure Times from Anson Rd
Weekdays, except Public Holidays
18:10 – 18:25
Operating Frequency
From Canberra Rd
20 mins
From Anson Rd
15 mins
Fare Information
Fare Charges express distance fares


City Direct Service 656 provides residents of Sembawang with greater connectivity to the CBD. Running parallel to existing rail lines, the service provides a travel alternative for commuters who relied on the rail network and feeder buses to and from work. The route incorporates an express sector between Sembawang Avenue and Dhoby Ghaut via SLE and CTE.

This is the sixth City Direct service to be introduced under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), providing more options for commuters using stretches of the existing rail lines that experience persistently high ridership, while the ongoing rail enhancement measures are being implemented.

MRT Stations Served
Departure Timings

Weekdays (except Public Holidays)

  • Morning Peak from Canberra Road (Blk 424A CP):
    07:20 & 07:40
  • Evening Peak from Anson Road (Mapletree Anson):
    18:10 & 18:25

Poster Gallery:


Operator History:
  • 17 Feb 2014 – 14 Apr 2017: Loh Gim Chong Transport
  • 17 Apr 2017 onward: SMRT Buses Ltd
  • 2014 (17 Feb): Introduced between Canberra Rd (Blk 424A CP) and Shenton Way (Opp MAS Bldg) during morning peak hours and between Anson Rd (Hub Synergy Pt) and Canberra Rd (Blk 508 CP) during evening peak hours as a peak hour one-directional service on weekdays under the BSEP.
  • 2015 (23 Mar): Serves new bus stop (03241) instead of (03222) along Anson Rd
  • 2017 (20 Nov): Start of non-regular double-decker bus operations
  • 2020 (08 Apr – 01 Jun): Temporarily suspended due to Singapore COVID-19 Circuit Breaker Measures.
  • 2020 (02 Jun): Start of regular double-decker bus operations for morning peak

Past Routings

Changes in Departure Times:
Effective Date Morning Peak Timings Evening Peak Timings
17 Feb 2014 07:25 & 07:40 18:10 & 18:25
10 Mar 2014 07:20, 07:30 & 07:40 18:10 & 18:25
14 Jul 2014 07:20, 07:26, 07:34 & 07:40 18:10 & 18:25
17 Apr 2017 07:20, 07:30 & 07:40 18:10 & 18:25
02 Jun 2020 07:20 & 07:40 18:10 & 18:25



Back to Bus Services
Back to City Direct Services
Back to Bus Articles

16 thoughts on “SMRT City Direct Bus Service 656

  • 15 July 2018 at 5:09 PM

    The express sector for this bus service is from Sembawang Road, turn left to Yishun Avenue 1, then turn right to Lentor Avenue to go on leftmost lane into SLE for morning peak and from SLE then exit at Lentor Avenue to go on leftmost lane to turn left to Yishun Avenue 1 to turn right into Sembawang Road.

  • 3 January 2018 at 6:42 PM

    The double decker bus service was only operational for 2 days. For once commuters thought the days of long hour standing has gone. For once, we thought our voices are heard. You can literally see the glee in all of their eyes upon boarding the DD bus.

    Why..why do you play with our feelings SMRT.. We want our DD bus back!


  • 16 November 2017 at 4:22 PM

    With the ever increasing MRT problems recently especially affecting NSL lines, SMRT should look into increasing the frequency of the existing bus services (BSEP) to the city centre.

    I am staying in Sembawang area and there is bus service 656 plying in our estate. But when checking the bus schedule, I learn that the service only starts at 7:20am onwards. May I request for the service to begin earlier to cater those offices starting earlier (in line with the government encouraging companies to stagger the peak working hours). My work starts at 8:00 am and I won’t be able to reach Raffles Place with your existing bus schedule, as it takes approx. 70 mins of travel time to reach town.

    Kindly take immediate action to rectify the existing flaws in bus / MRT services. SMRT need to step-up to deal with the current transport deficiency and have the foresight to plan and coordinate their services with the existing times. It is a shame that a “1st world nation and world class transport service” is in this dire dilemma.

    I sincerely hope to receive a favourable response to this request.

  • 13 September 2017 at 9:46 AM

    I urge everyone to crowd start a new route from Sembawang to CBD via Grab Shuttle.. you guys can download the app or do it online.. once enough passengers requested for it, they’ll create the route!

    You’ll be guaranteed a seat, comfortable one that is, and price wise it is affordable! Pass for 10 rides cost about $2.60+ per trip!!
    I’ve tried it for the return trip to Sembawang from CBD so i do know.. You’ll be in a 20+ seater mini bus.. Travelling time will definitely decrease..

    Please lets try this solution, especially for those who board the bus from Sun Plaza onwards.. An hour plus of standing each day is really a torture.. Do pass on the message! Say hello to your fellow commuters and tell them abt this!

    Im definitely not from grab..just a passenger that is desperate for a comfortable ride to work and hope not to be late for work anymore!!

  • 9 September 2017 at 7:56 PM

    I have been taking this bus for a while now. I agree with you guys about the disappointment. I’m so disappointed when SMRT taken over the service. Because I know that the comfortable seats will be gone. Not only that, they also decreased the frequency from 4 trips to 3 trips in the morning.

    Come Mon, the bus is almost full everyday and people are paying more to stand meh? Some more the timing of the buses also buey zhun. Seldom early but always late. Like that how?

    Please don’t take advantage of us leh. We must stand up to them and demand that either the frequency increases or they give us double Decker buses.

    Best way will be feedback straight to SMRT. If not I don’t think they will care about how we feel. I strongly urge everyone here to call and feedback to SMRT about this. 来来大家一起来 Let our voices be heard and pressure them to do something for us. Everybody let’s do it!

    If really cannot, then really let the professionals do the job. Buey hiao mai kay kiang.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *